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[115]

PROCEEDINGS OF THE HART INQUIRY
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15, 1944
NINTH DAY
                                                          NAVY DEPARTMENT,
                                                          Washington, D. C. 

The examination met at 11:07 a. m.

Present:

Admiral Thomas C. Hart, U. S. Navy, Retired, examining officer, and his counsel and assistant counsel.

Ship's Clerk Charles O. Lee, U. S. Naval Reserve, reporter.

The examining officer decided to postpone the reading of the record proceedings of the eighth day of the examination until such time as it shall be reported ready, and in the meantime to proceed with the examination.

No witnesses not otherwise connected with the examination were present.

A witness called by the examining officer entered and was informed of the subject matter of the examination as set forth in the preface to the testimony of Rear Admiral W. W. Smith, Record Page 32.

The witness was duly sworn.

Examined by the examining officer:

1. Q. Admiral, please state your name, rank, and present station.

A. Patrick Nelson Lynch Bellinger, Vice Admiral, U. S. Navy; Commander, Air Force, Atlantic Fleet, with administrative offices at Norfolk, Virginia.

2. Q. What duties were you performing on the 7th of December, 1941?

A. On the 7th of December, 1941, I was Commander, Patrol Wing Two; I was also controlling Patrol Wing One, which was also based on the Island of Oahu with headquarters at Kaneohe; I was Commander, Fleet Air Detachment on Ford Island; I was Commander, Task Force Nine, which was the Task Force of the patrol planes and tenders and such other units as may be assigned by the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet; I was also assigned as liaison with the Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District in connection with aviation facilities being developed at the various outlying islands, such as Midway, Wake, Palmyra, and Johnston. In addition, I was Commander, Naval Defense Air Force, which was an organization set up by direction of the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, and headed by the Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District, who was termed Commander, Naval Base Defense Force.

3. Q. Admiral, please relate, approximately, the forces normally included in your command as Commander, Patrol Wing Two, and under control the forces of Patrol Wing One.

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A. There were several squadrons of patrol planes with a total of eighty-one planes on December 7, together with the aircraft tenders assigned.

4. Q. Were there any additional aircraft available to you as the Base Defense Force Air Commander?

A. Under the setup of the Naval Base Defense Air Force, in case of emergency, aircraft of the Navy that were then on shore from the carriers and otherwise, came under this Command. However, the fighting planes were further assigned, through my organization, to the Army Fighter Command for operation. [116] Also, such planes of the bombardment type as the Army might make available were subject to my operational control in such capacity.

5. Q. Admiral, will you give us, please, the approximate location with respect to Oahu and the outlying islands, of the patrol planes on December 7.

A. There were 36 planes at Kaneohe Air Station, 33 planes at Pearl, and 12 planes at Midway. Twelve of the planes at Pearl had returned on 5 December, having had, prior thereto, an extensive tour of duty at Midway and Wake.

6. Q. For how long a period preceding the date of the attack had patrol planes been stationed at Midway and Wake?

A. The squadron I last referred to as having returned to Pearl on 5 December had been stationed at Midway or Wake since 17 October.

7. Q. Were any additional planes sent to the outlying islands between the 27th of November and the 7th of December, 1941?

A. I don't remember the date that one squadron was dispatched to Midway in connection with a Fleet operation in the reenforcement Wake, but I am practically sure it was prior to November 27, shortly thereto. I don't believe any of my patrol planes were dispatched from the Island of Oahu to outlying islands subsequent to November 27.

8. Q. Do you recall that the Fleet operation to which you referred was the sending of a task force to deliver fighter planes to Wake?

A. Yes.

9. Q. It was that?

A. It was in connection with sending Marine planes to Wake.

10. Q. Admiral, please outline the general nature in the deployment patrol planes in the several months preceding the attack, that is, the nature of the training and so forth.

A. The main effort was expansion training, expansion meaning the qualifying of personnel to form additional patrol plane crews, and to qualify them all personally in their main job. Shortly before December, the patrol plane squadrons were attached for operational control to various task forces of the Fleet, they worked in connection with the training operations that these task forces were conducting this organization was done away with and the operation of patrol planes with task forces was done by assignment as directed by higher authority. New planes, with which Patrol Wings One and Two were being equipped, arrived in Oahu in accordance with the following dates: 12 planes, 28 October; 8 planes, 28 October; 12 planes, 8 November; 12 planes, 23 November; 12 planes, 23 November; all of 1941. These planes were the PBY5 type, for which there were scarcely

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any spares on hand to maintain. Therefore, a great deal of time and effort was utilized in maintenance difficulties and also in the preparation of this new type of plane for war conditions.

11. Q. Were these operations conducted under an approved quarterly deployment schedule?

A. Yes, under approved schedules. Sometimes they were not quarterly.

12.Q. But they were announced well in advance?

A. Yes.

13. Q. Do you remember how they were classified?

A. I think they were confidential.

[17]

14. Q. Admiral, will you please state the condition of the patrol planes on Oahu on December 7, with respect to their material readiness for operations?

A. In accordance with information I gain from notes made on December 19, 1941, the following was the situation: 36 planes were at Kaneohe; 33 planes at Pearl; and 12 planes at Midway. Of these 81 planes, 9 were under repair; 58 were in commission, and 14 were in the air.

15. Q. Were the Marine planes on Oahu subject to your operational control during emergencies up to 7 December, or were your duties in connection with the Fleet Detachment confined to those planes on Ford Island?

A. In my status as Commander, Naval Base Defense Air Force, the Marine planes functioned under my operational control when drills were scheduled, or when there was an actual emergency. That is, those planes that were made available to me. However, I wish to differentiate between the bombing and scouting planes and the fighting planes, the latter, of course, functioned under the Army Fighter Command.

16. Q. In general, what was the state of training of the patrol plane personnel just prior to 7 December, '41?

A. In general, it was good, but there was a lot actually to be perfected as was proved after December 7. However, we were short of our allocated number of crews for patrol planes, and the main training was the expansion training which was being conducted in order to increase the number of crews that would be available.

17. Q. This examination has received an estimate of the situation which is an inclosure to a letter marked Exhibit 22, which is purportedly approved by you in your capacity as Commander, Naval Air Base Defense Force. I hand you the Exhibit; do you identify the inclosed estimates?

A. Yes, sir. This paper was practically wholly prepared by my organization.

18. Q Do you have in your custody a copy of the Naval Base Defense Air Force Operation Plan No. A-1-41 to which this estimate is a supplement?

A. No.

19 Q. It is noted that this estimate recognizes as possible enemy action almost identical with the action of the Japanese Navy on 7 December 1941, and arrives at decisions for the defense of the ships and installations at Pearl Harbor from such enemy action. I would like to discuss certain aspects of the estimate to obtain additional information with respect thereto and to obtain information as to how the

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resultant plan worked out when the attack came. It is noted that the estimate, under "Action open to us", provides for daily patrols as far as possible to seaward through 360 degrees. It further states that this would be desirable but that it could only be effectively maintained with personnel and materiel then available for a short period. Would you please explain more fully the reason that the extended patrols had to be so limited?

A. Because of the number of planes available, the limitations of personnel, and the maintenance problems of the aircraft available. As a regular proposition, it is believed that a crew could conduct one patrol every third day of the type listed in the estimate. Crews have done more than that at times for short periods, but the physical fatigue is something that has to be watched in the conduct of continuous search operations. It was estimated that to conduct a search through 360 degrees, to a distance of at least 800 miles, [118] assuming a 15 mile radius of visibility, would require a daily flight of 84 planes. Therefore, to conduct a continuous search of this type would require an overall force of approximately 200 planes. There is always a question, of the life of the planes versus the physical fatigue of the crew. The planes now stand up and can operate continually more and to a greater extent than can the crews. Therefore, the question of number of planes and number of crews for these planes, in order to place them in the air each day a flight of 84 planes, becomes a matter of adjustment and not a concrete statement as regards to the actual number of planes required. But, undoubtedly, it would require 252 crews and more than 170 planes.

20. Q. Admiral, were considerations given to extending a distance patrol to cover the more important arcs rather than the total of 360 degrees?

A. Many phases of a possible attack were considered, and in air raid drills, our own carriers were used. Their location was unknown even to myself. There was no hard and fixed decision as to what direction a possible attack might be launched, although the wind direction indicated that the northern sector might be more desirable. The location of bases from which such attack might come were in the southwestern direction.

21. Q. Were not such sectors as a narrow one to the southeastward fairly well covered by the presence of other islands in the chain another, similarly, northwest toward Midway; and was not the steamer lane to the mainland so well occupied that a narrow sector there also would most likely be unused by the enemy?

A. Yes. sir, that is correct, except that there were no planes operating from outlying islands except Midway at that time.

22. Q. You would not expect an enemy to send in an attack which went anywhere near those rather narrow sectors, would you?

A. No, sir. The enemy, undoubtedly, would endeavor to guard against all detection, shipping, and such other operations as they might assume were in progress.

23. Q. What is the basis of those words in the estimate which you have just stated, that a distant reconnaissance would have to extent to at least 800 miles?

A. The following applies to 22 December conditions: Launching radius of enemy carriers, estimated at 300 nautical miles; enemy night-run, estimated at 27 knots times 13 hours, equals 351 miles;

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enemy's day run, before search planes reach 300 mile radius, 81 miles; radius to cover effective at dark, 732 miles. The PBY plane was the only type of plane the Navy had to conduct this search with, and 800 miles was considered about the maximum length of leg that could be carried out by the PBY plane. And to give another estimate for the PBY on the basis of 25 miles visibility, I quote the following: "Radius of delay search, 800 miles; number of searching planes daily, 25 mile visibility, 50; flight times per search plane, 16 1/2 hours; total planes hours per month, 24,750; total number of planes required, 150; number of flight crews required, 225; engine changes per month, average, 82 1/2; spare engines required, 182; fuel consumption per month, gallons of gasoline, 1,980,000; search effectiveness estimated at 50 per cent."

24. Q. Was the 300 miles estimated as an enemy launching radius rather a high estimate?

A Yes, I thought they would come in closer, but that was selected as giving the enemy the advantage in the estimate.

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25. Q. Admiral, were the PBY patrol bombers equipped with radar at that time, that is, prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor?

A. No.

26. Q. Did conditions of personnel and materiel improve between the 31st of March, 1941, the date of the estimate, and December 7, 1941.

A. In this way only, that gradually facilities were being built up, that obsolete planes were gradually being replaced, that more materiel was gradually being sent out, but even up until November 23 when I received word from an officer who had just arrived in a ferry flight from the Pacific Coast and who had made a special trip to Washington for me, informed me that from all information he could receive, the Atlantic was receiving the priorities.

Jesse Lee Ward, Jr., Yeoman Second Class, U. S. Naval Reserve, was seated as reporter and was warned that the oath previously taken was still binding.

27. Q. Were these changes sufficient to cause you to reconsider your estimate of the situation made in March of '41-were there enough differences?

A. Changes?

28. Q. You stated that they did improve somewhat, and I wondered if you considered them sufficient-

A. No; by no means.

29. Q. The estimate further provides that in view of the difficulties that you have just discussed, extensive daily patrols could not be undertaken unless intelligence indicated that a surface raid was probable within rather narrow time limits. Did you receive intelligence of this nature prior to the December 7 attack?

A. No.

30. Q. Also as an enclosure with Exhibit 22 before this examination is a supplement, or annex, to a plan signed by the Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District. I show it to you. Do you recognize it?

A. Yes.

31. Q. Admiral, did you consider that this agreement authorized you, acting under Commander Base Defense Force, to call on the Army Air Forces in Hawaii, for planes of an appropriate type that they might

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have, to augment your available planes for search purposes, in the absence of a declared or recognized emergency?

A. No, it did not give me that authority, and any time that use of planes was involved, and they were involved only prior to December the 7th in case of drill, special arrangements had to be made ahead of time in order to utilize Army planes in the drill, and on account of failure to get joint action in these drills, it was necessary to set up a pre-determined schedule for drills which the Army was asked to agree to. The Army's point of view was that they were so busy training their personnel that they could not divert them to drills. If you will note in this paper, in paragraph 2, "When the Commanding General of the Hawaiian Department and the Naval Base Defense Officer agree that the threat of a hostile raid or attack is sufficiently imminent to warrant such action, each Commander will take such preliminary steps as are necessary to make available without delay to the other Commander such a portion of the air forces at his disposal. . . ." and so forth. That was one of the main impediments of this agreement and of this organization. No air [120] defense can be effective unless it is functioning 24 hours every day, and this set-up that existed in the Hawaiian Islands was a paper organization which could not really function to prevent, or take action in an air attack. It was not the primary objective of either Army or Navy. There was no unity of command or control.

32. Q. Was the paragraph 2, of this annex to which you have just referred, used prior to the attack so as to bring the plan into effect?

A. Actually, no. At time of attack, I received no word from any body. We took action directly with the Bomber Command, General Rudolph, and he agreed to do all he could in carrying out my desires.

33. Q. However, could not an agreement between you and your opposite number in the air, as to correct action, have been reached under a declaration by the highest echelon that danger of attack existed, or even if the two of you, from what you knew, had made such an estimate?

A. The Commanding General, Hawaiian Air Force, and myself were in very close accord on many subjects and we worked together in drills, outside of air raid drills. If he saw or I saw an emergency situation, I feel very sure that he would have cooperated in any specific instance.

34. Q Admiral, you have several times referred to "drills". Did you include in this, regular tactical exercises, involving units of the Fleet, carriers, and so forth?

A. What did you say?

35. Q. Did you include in that term "drills", regular scheduled tactical exercises?

A. That was other than air raid drills, I am speaking about.

36. Q. Yes, but that includes regular Fleet tactical exercises in which the Army Air participated?

A. No, these were special drills or exercises that were arranged between the Army Air Force Commander and myself.

37. Q. Did not the Army also participate in some of the Fleet exercise periods with their Air arm?

A. Yes, by special arrangement.

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38. Q. Did the conditions as to cooperation which you have mentioned apply in the same manner as they did during your drills arranged among the Air Commanders?

A. Yes.

39. Q. Admiral, had you been physically present in Pearl Harbor in the week or so preceding the attack on 7 December?

A. Yes, I was at my quarters, and in bed with the "Flu" for approximately five days prior to December 7th, and December 7th was to be my first day up from the "Flu".

40. Q. Admiral, I show you a dispatch, which is Exhibit 6 before this examination. Do you recognize that dispatch as one you saw prior to the attack?

A. I don't recall ever seeing that.

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41. Q. It is noted from your testimony that on the day following the date of this dispatch certain patrol planes were dispatched to Midway. Was this in accordance with and in compliance with orders of higher authority, sir?

A. Yes, sir.

42. Q. Do you recall whether the dispatching of that squadron had been planned in advance, or whether it was a sudden decision?

A. I think it was a sudden decision by the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific.

43. Q. Were you advised of the reason for dispatching the squadron at that time?

A. I don't think so, except that, as I remember, it was done in connection with reenforcements at Midway, and, later, at Wake.

44. Q. Admiral, I show you another dispatch, which is Exhibit 7 before this examination. Had you seen that prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor?

A. No.

45. Q. And another dispatch, Exhibit 8; had you seen that prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor?

A. No.

46. Q. Were you advised-

A. (Interposing) As a matter of fact, I didn't see it until about five days afterward, when Admiral Kimmel showed it to me; after December 7.

47. Q. Were you advised, in any manner, of the receipt of a dispatch of this nature about this time?

A. No, not prior to December 7.

48. Q. I show you Exhibit 9. Had you seen that prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor?

A. No.

49. Q. Had you seen the dispatch, Exhibit 11?

A. No.

50. Q. Was any other intelligence relating to American-Japanese relations, or the Pacific situation, received either from local or other sources which caused you to extend the air patrols prior to the launching of the attack on December 7?

A. The newspapers, of course, were all alarming; rather, the newspapers indicated a critical situation. I was reading those. There

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were no special flights that were carried out, other than the training exercises and the security flights that were ordered by the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific.

51. Q. I had in mind, Admiral, the revision of the estimate to the effect that extensive patrols could not be undertaken unless intelligence indicates that a surface raid was probable, within rather narrow time limits. None of the intelligence information received by you, if you did receive any, was sufficient to bring about the exception here to your patrols so as to cause you to expand the areas patrolled by air?

A. In order to expand the patrols to the extent that would have been necessary to get early information of an approaching force, it would have [122] been necessary for me to take the question up with higher authority, in order to carry out such employment of my forces. That would have been either through the District Commandant, who was Commander of the Naval Base Defense Force, of ["or"? LWJ] the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet. The situation in the Pacific had been critical for sometime, but at some times it had appeared to be more critical. It was a question, from the newspaper accounts, of whether the situation was more critical prior to December the 7th then it had ever been before, or not.

52. Q. Did you receive orders from higher authority in the period between 27 November and 7 December to extend the air patrol in any way?

A. Not from Oahu; only in connection with the operations that were taking place at Midway and Wake, and that was for a particular reason with reference to our own forces that were in that vicinity.

53. Q. During those days of your illness, did you do any business at all, or did the officer who normally would succeed you, carry on the work of your command?

A. He came in to confer with me, brought papers for signature but relieved me of most of the work of the command.

54. Q. Who was he?

A. Captain Logan Ramsey.

55. Q. And you received nothing from him other than, as you have stated, what was in the newspapers, indicating any particular reason for thinking of security in Pearl Harbor?

A. No, sir.

56. Q. It appears that very important information and Navy Department directives were not passed to you. Being a very important subordinate commander, I have to ask how Admiral Kimmel did get advice and information concerning air matters. Insofar as you know who acted along that line?

A. I dealt directly with Admiral Kimmel quite considerably, and also with his Aviation Aide, who was Captain Davis and Admiral Kimmel seemed to be very much interested in aviation matters.

57. Q. Did you ever talk over with him the possibility of a carrier raid by the Japanese?

A. No, not in conversation. The actual wording of the estimate was never discussed with Admiral Kimmel. In fact, it was never discussed to my knowledge, except in my own organization and with the Army personnel concerned; Army and Air personnel concerned.

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However, this estimate was part of the original assignment given me by Admiral Kimmel in connection with his desire to bring about a coordinated scheme of air defense of Oahu.

58. Q. Then insofar as you knew, Admiral Kimmel had never paid any unusual attention to that part of the Army and Navy joint estimate which set forth the possibility of the carrier raid; is that true?

A. Not to my knowledge did he go into any particular phase of it. He knew, of course, of all that had been done in the work with the Army in bringing about this organization, but I was not satisfied with the organization and I so expressed to him and I am sure that he was not, for the simple reason that it was based on too much cooperation and also on the assumption that it would go into effect when an emergency arose, and no organization of this kind is any good unless it functions twenty-four hours a day prior to any air attack, completely and fully manned. And there were insufficient [123] personnel actually in my establishment to have such an organization functioning that way, and I am sure it was the same with the Army.

59. Q. As regards Admiral Bloch, under whom you acted in a certain capacity, did you have frequent conversations with him concerning this same general subject?

A. Yes, sir; but not too frequently. At the beginning when the organization was being set up, I worked with Admiral Bloch, either personally or with his representatives, considerably. Later I took up with him matters in connection with arrangements for air raid drills or matters pertaining to failure of the organization to function particularly as applicable to the Army. As he was not an air man, I only took those subjects up with him that I felt he should know and which he, through his relationship with the Commanding General of the Army, could rectify.

60. Q. As the tenseness of the situation in the Pacific grew, during, say, October and November, there was no particular conversation thereby instituted with Admiral Bloch, is that true?

A. I had many conversations about the various aviation developments that were in his District. The prior answer was with reference to the air defense, only; but since all aviation developments such as at the outlying islands and Kaneohe and Pearl were under Admiral Bloch, many of these matters came up for discussion and they like-wise had a bearing on the air defense of that area.

61. Q. Having participated in that joint estimate back in March, 1941, as the tenseness of the situation in the Pacific grew, did not those portions of the estimate dealing with the carrier raid come back into your mind?

A. Yes, sir. I remember discussing the subject matter with a high Navy Department official during his visit to Oahu, wherein he complemented me on the organization that had been set up, indicating cooperation with the Army, and I told him that that was all right, but it wouldn't work in case of war. He mentioned that practically, we were at war, and I stated "Well, true, but not shooting war, yet, in the Pacific." I indicated that there must be unity of command to make it work and also additional facilities and equipment.

The witness was duly warned.

The examining officer then, at 12:45 p. m. took a recess until 2:00 p. m., at which time the examination was reconvened.

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Present: The examining officer and his counsel and assistant counsel.

Ship's Clerk Charles O. Lee, U. S. Naval Reserve, took seat as reporter and was warned that the oath previously taken was still binding.

No witnesses not otherwise connected with the examination were present.

Vice Admiral P. N. L. Bellinger, U. S. Navy, the witness under examination when the recess was taken, entered. He was warned that the oath previously taken was still binding.

(Examination by the examining officer continued:)

62. Q. It has been brought out in other testimony that the estimated most [124] probable courses of Jap action in a surprise attack would be either a submarine attack on ships at sea or a sabotage on Oahu, or both. Were you concurring in those opinions in let November, 1941?

A. Yes, sir, I concurred in the opinion that there might be Jap submarine activity and also sabotage on the Island of Oahu. Of course, I did not discount the other possibilities as indicated in the estimate, but I thought it most probably would be a submarine attack or sabotage.

63. Q. Admiral, during your testimony, with respect to the plan for the deployment of aircraft, through the means of mutual cooperation, you have expressed your opinion to the effect that this was not the best plan which might be used. Did you make any recommendations or take any action with respect to higher authority changing the method of command at Oahu?

A. I didn't think that any joint plan, based on cooperation alone, would function or could function properly in an emergency, and I mentioned my more or less dissatisfaction with the general setup of this air defense, both personally in conversation to Admiral Kimmel and also at one time to Mr. Forrestal, the Under Secretary of Navy.

64. Q. Admiral, were you responsible in any way for the defense of outlying islands, such as Midway and Wake?

A. No, except in this way, that in the war plans of the Pacific, prior to December 7, my job was to control the air operations from Wake, Midway, Palmyra, and Johnston, with headquarters on Midway.

65. Q. Were these to be offensive or defensive deployments?

A. Presumably both, insofar as the forces available and the situation demanded.

66. Q. Did your responsibility in this respect cause you any concern or preoccupy your mind in the days prior to the attack with respect to your more immediate duties at Oahu?

A. My immediate duties at Oahu was expansion training rather than defensive operations against a possible attack. The need for this expansion training in aviation was very vital because every operating outfit was concerned in this expansion, and qualified per personnel were being drawn from operating units to be sent to training establishments for further expansion in training. As a consequence, the expansion training was vital and that was what was stressed by high authority. Now with reference to anything taking my mind away from the situation, I was vitally concerned and worried about the lack of many things that were required in the Pacific area which Honolulu represented the main base of, as official correspondence will

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show. But you must remember that this Naval Base Air Defense was an organization set up to meet an emergency. It was hoped that that emergency would arise after prior information which would set the organization in operation.

67. Q. I had particular reference to your planning preparation of security measures under your duties as the Base Defense Air Commander and possibility of the responsibility for defense of the out-islands, and the need for employment of aircraft there, amounting to a concern and preoccupation in connection therewith.

A. The planes which I had command of, insofar as outlying islands were concerned, had no particularly offensive ability. That is, the patrol planes, except within limitations. To indicate my concern, with reference to these outlying islands, I would like to refer you to a letter which I wrote the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, from Commander, Patrol Wing Two, Serial No. 0026, dated 22 October 1941, subject: Types of combatant aircraft for a [125] Pacific campaign, in which I stressed the need for 160 long-range, high-speed, land plane bombers, and 160 interceptor fighters for operations in connection with Midway and Wake Islands, and also the development of these Islands to accommodate operating complements of these planes.

68. Q. Admiral, in your estimate of the situation, dated 31 March 1941, which is a part of Exhibit 22 before this investigation, you pointed out that long-range or distance reconnaissance was possible only for short periods of time when intelligence reports indicated a probable attack on Oahu. Did both the Naval Base Defense Officer add the Commander-in-Chief know that that situation continued to obtain up to December 7?

A. I'm practically sure that they did. The Commander-in-Chief was very aware of the spare part problem with which we were confronted with reference to the 54 planes of the PBY5 type.

69. Q. Whose responsibility was it to order distance reconnaissance when it was indicated that there was a probability of an attack on Oahu?

A. I would assume it to have been that of the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific. If an emergency was apparent, I would have taken the initiative, and I am very sure that the Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District would have taken the initiative, but lacking definite information, then, in view of the employment of forces involved, it becomes a question of authority of the Commander-in-Chief.

70. Q. Admiral, please outline the patrols that were maintained prior to the attack on the morning of 7 December 1941.

A. There were three planes on patrol on the morning of 7 December 1941 whose job was to search the operating areas being utilized by units of the Fleet on that day in the early morning. This form of security patrol was a daily routine occurrence in accordance with instructions from the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet. That was from Oahu. From Midway, seven planes were conducting a search between 120 to 170 degrees from Midway for a distance of 450 miles.

71. Q. Was that also a normal routine search?

A. The one from Midway was a special search, conforming to an operation directed by the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific.

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72. Q. Were there any normal, daily searches made from Midway by patrol planes?

A. When planes are based on an island, they conducted search operations from that island, but, normally, they were not based on Islands except for special circumstances.

73. Q. Please relate, if it is within your knowledge, the searches conducted from Midway on 6 December 1941.

A. On 29 November, a squadron at Midway was directed to search area within 100 miles of Midway daily and to be prepared to shift base to Wake. There is an operation order issued by me as Commander, Task Force 9, to Patrol Squadrons 21 and 22 and Commander Task Group 9.2, which required prescribed flights on certain days from Midway. On December 5, the requirement was to search Sector 126-168 to 525 miles, using 6 planes. The searches from Midway and also from Wake were in connection with a task force that was augmenting air strength on Wake, and the completion of that assignment in connection with Wake was supposed to be on the 5th of December I believe. The operation order that I'm referring to is in Mailgram from ComTaskForce-Nine, No. 292103 of November, 1941. I do not recall the searches made from Midway on 6 December 1941.

[126]

74. Q. Admiral, with respect to the conditions of readiness prescribed in the estimate, please relate the condition of readiness in effect on the morning of 7 December, prior to the attack.

A. The following was the condition of readiness of patrol planes of Patrol Wings One and Two on the morning of December 7: VP-21: 7 planes in the air conducting search 120 degrees to 170 degrees to distance of 450 miles from Midway; 4 planes on the surface at Midway armed, each with two 500-lb. bombs and on 10 minute notice. VP-11 at Kaneohe: 12 planes ready for flight on 4 hours notice. VP-12 at Kaneohe: 6 planes ready for flight on 30 minutes notice: 5 planes ready for flight on 4 hours notice. VP-14 at Kaneohe: 3 planes in the air on morning security patrol, armed with depth charges; 3 planes ready for flight on 30 minutes notice; 4 planes ready for flight on 4 hours notice. VP-22 at Pearl Harbor: 12 planes ready for flight on 4 hours notice. VP-23 at Pearl Harbor: 11 planes ready for flight on 4 hours notice. VP-24 at Pearl Harbor: 4 planes in the air conducting inter-type tactics with U. S. submarines; 1 plane ready for flight on 30 minutes notice. All planes were equipped with machine guns and ammunition.

75. Q. What planes for distant reconnaissance did General Rudolph's routine report of 5 or 6 December make ready to you for that week-end?

A. In a dispatch dated December 5, from the Headquarters, Hawaiian Air Force, stated that there were available 8 B-17's, 21 B-18's, and 6 A-20's, all in Condition Easy 5, which is as follows "All aircraft conducting routine operations. None ready for the purpose of this plan. Degree of readiness: All types, 4 hours." Of the above planes, the only types for really effective search missions were the B-17 type. The B-18 and the A-20 were effective for short-range bombing.

76. Q. Who established this condition of readiness with respect to the Navy planes?

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A. The condition of readiness of aircraft, with respect to air raid precautions, was set by the Commander, Naval Base Defense, or higher authority.

77. Q. Were you satisfied with the prescribed condition of readiness, if you recollect?

A. With the work in hand and under the conditions as I saw them, yes. One must remember that the situation in the Pacific, so far as anticipating an emergency, had been going on for sometime.

78. Q. Admiral, you have testified with respect to the report of available planes made to you by the Army. Did you make a similar report of naval planes available, addressed to the Army?

A. I did.

79. Q. Will you please give us the substance of that report?

A. On 6 December, I quote a dispatch to the Commanding General; Hawaiian Air Force, from Commander, Naval Defense Air Force: "7 fighters, 5 Condition 5. 9 scouts, 3 Condition 4, 6 Condition 5." Condition 4 means all types ready in two hours. Condition 5 means all types ready in four hours.

80. Q. Did this include the Marine Corps planes available ashore?

A. I think that this was entirely the Marines, although I'm not positive. I quote another dispatch from the Marine Air Group in reporting their readiness to Commander, Patrol Wing Two: "18 scout bombers: 3 Condition 4. 15 [127] scout bombers, Condition 5. For December 5, 6, and 7."

81. Q. Admiral, we do not have your Air Force Operation Plan No. A-1-11. Was that plan actually in effect prior to the attack?

A. The plan, as a plan that would go into a functioning state when put into such a state, was in effect prior to December 7, but the plan was not a functioning affair except when placed into being.

82. Did the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor place it into being?

A. The Japanese attack did place it into being. There were no orders received by me from any higher authority prior to starting all action that could be taken.

83. Q. The plans, then, for coordination and exchange of planes between the Army and Navy, became effective with the initiation of the Japanese attack?

A. It did.

84. Q. How many of the Army planes reported available actually reported to you after the attack was initiated and the plan became effective?

A. That is a question I was never able to find out. It finally became a question of asking General Rudolph to get planes going as soon as he could on prescribed searches which I requested. We did have certain information as to what the Army sent out but I never was convinced of the accuracy of what actually went out and what they actually did.

85. Q. Were communications established between any of these Army bombers and you as the Air Commander?

A. No. The control of communications between the plane and the base was internal in the Army, and the Navy did not have communications with the Army planes in the air. Any communications to or from the planes was transmitted to the Army planes from the Army Base. That condition prevailed for several months after December 7 when it was finally arranged to set up a communication arrangement within

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the bombing planes of the Army so that we could get communication direct with all planes, Army and Navy, that were functioning on the same mission.

86. Q. Do you know if any of the Army planes established communications with your subordinates in the air after the attack was initiated?

A. No, none that I know of, and I'm sure that there was none.

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Jesse Lee Ward, Jr., Yeoman Second Class, U. S. Naval Reserve, took seat as reporter and was warned that the oath previously taken was still binding.

87. Q. In general, Admiral Bellinger, what was the state-what was the adequacy of radio communications available to you for handling your aircraft in the air?

A. We were actually able to communicate with planes in the air from our Base. The communication system utilized was the installations at the Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor. To meet the various conditions of air operations that were required, considerably more communication facilities were established both at Kaneohe and at Pearl, even to the extent of building, subsequent to December the 7th, a communication and air control center. The difficulty of communication between Pearl Harbor and Kaneohe, itself, was considerable.

88. Q. Did communication or radio matters of this type, that is, the material angle, come under the Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District, and his Communications Officer-that is, base?

A. The shore-based installations came under the air stations which in turn, came under the Commandant.

89. Q. Was the Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District familiar with your deficiencies in the radio field?

A. I feel that he was familiar with it, because I endeavored to keep him acquainted with deficiencies.

90. Q. Was the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, familiar with this problem?

A. Yes, I feel very sure he was familiar with it.

91. Q. Admiral, was any remedial action taken by your superiors with respect to your communications deficiencies prior to December 7?

A. Yes. I would say the answer to that question is, "Yes." Action was being taken, an effort was being made to improve deficiencies, but the question was always, with us, would the deficiencies be provided in time.

92. Q. And it turned out they were not?

A. Not in all respects. I would like to refer to a letter, which was one of the first letters I wrote upon my arrival in Pearl Harbor, concerning deficiencies with which I was concerned in that area. This is a confidential letter, File Number 022, of 16 January 1941, from Commander Patrol Wing Two, to the Chief of Naval Operations, Subject: "Patrol Wing Two-readiness of."

93. Q. Admiral, I show you a letter which has been obtained from the Secret-Confidential Files of the Navy Department. Is that the letter to which you refer?

A. It is.

The document was introduced in evidence by the examining officer.

Note: Because of the confidential nature of the document, it was returned at the conclusion of the proceedings to Secret-Confidential Files

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of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, D. C. A description of the document introduced in evidence is appended marked "Exhibit 24".

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94. Q. Admiral, of the planes reported by you as available to the Army, how many of these planes actually reported to the Army after the attack was initiated?

A. That, I am unable to say. I feel very sure that the planes referred to were the Marine planes based at Ewa, and I feel very sure that these Marine planes were damaged by machine-gun fire from enemy planes on December 7.

95. Q. Admiral, were you advised of a contact with a Japanese submarine on the morning of 7 December 1941, prior to the launching of the air attack?

A. No.

96. Q. I mean, it happened prior to the launching of the air attack?

A. Prior to the attack?

97, Q. Yes.

A. No, I was not informed. evidently, because of my being laid up, as soon as I might otherwise have been informed. One reason for the delay in the knowledge of the presence of an enemy submarine was the fact that the dispatch informing the forces of this fact were coded, which caused delay both in sending and in receiving.

98. Q. Do you know if any of your subordinates were informed of this contact prior to the time the Japanese launched their air attack?

A. This is a narrative of events in accordance with data taken from an official letter prepared by me on 20 December: "0700 Patrol Plane 14P(1) sighted and attacked enemy submarine one mile off Pearl Harbor Entrance. 0715 Message coded and transmitted to Base. 0735 Message decoded and information received by Staff Duty Officer. 0737 Message relayed to Operations Officer. 0740 Message relayed by telephone to Staff Duty Officer of Commander-in-Chief. 0750 Search plan drafted by Operations Officer. 0757 First bomb dropped near VP-22 hangar. 0758 Message broadcast to all ships present "AIR RAID PEARL HARBOR. THIS IS NO DRILL". 0800 Search plan transmitted by radio and telephone and received by some of the planes in the air at 0805."

99. Q. Admiral, your estimate of the situation-

A. (Interposing) Excuse me. You asked me when did I know about that?

100. Q. Yes.

A. I didn't know about it until I arrived at the office. My first information was by telephone from my Operations Officer that we were under air attack. The plane that sighted and attacked the submarine assumed that he sank or damaged same. This was, I believe, the opinion expressed by the destroyer which aided also in the attack.

101. Q. Admiral, your estimate of the situation, enclosed with Exhibit 22, in its list of decisions, states: "Provided a means for quickly starting all required action under this plan when * * * (c) information is received that attack has been made on Fleet units." I assume that the operation plan which was built around this estimate contained similar provision. Do you consider that the episode of the submarine would have the effect of placing your operations plan into

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execution as soon as this information reached the higher command authorities?

A. That is a doubtful question, whether it would have or not, so far as the Army aircraft were concerned

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102. Q. Admiral, was any attempt made, that you know of, at your Command Headquarters, to relay the information of the attack on the submarine to the Army Air Forces authorities?

A. I don't know of any action of that kind. It went to the Commander-in-Chief's office, his Staff Duty Officer. I don't think it went to the Army. Normally, it would not have gone to the Army because it is doubtful what action they would have taken in connection with that particular submarine. There was grave doubt in the mind of the pilot of the plane, at the first sighting, whether that was an enemy submarine or merely one of our submarines, on account of its location relative to the destroyer, and its location relative to the entrance, but having no information of a U. S. submarine in that area, he then definitely assumed that it must be an enemy submarine.

103. Q. If a message had been relayed to the Army that an enemy submarine had been sunk, would that have placed your air operating plan in effect?

A. I doubt it. I think it would have required some higher authority in the Army to place it in effect. Now, in order to amplify that statement, I would like to refer to an air raid drill which was planned by the Army subsequent to the joint estimate and orders issued setting up the air defense plan. During one night, prior to the operations for the next day, I received a message stating that the Bomber Command was no longer subject to the orders of Commander, Patrol Wing Two I wondered what was the matter. I finally found out that the Army wanted to revert to the old "Joint Action" wherein, if the Navy wanted the Army to assist, it was necessary for the Navy command to so request the Army. Therefore, in the early morning, at 5:00 o'clock, the Army Bomber Command asked if I was going to request the Army to assist. I informed him that I did not understand that that was necessary in our agreement, that the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific, was the only one to ask the Army to assist. He stated he would like to participate in this drill. I said I would give him the information and he could act as he saw fit, and in accordance with his orders. After that, I made an official report of same to the Commander-in-Chief and also the Commander, Naval Base Defense, and also prepared a letter for the Commander, Naval Base Defense Force, to General Short, trying to straighten this out. In other words, to place the plan for air defense into effect evidently required authorization from higher Army authority for each instance. My letter, just referred to, was designed to correct that situation.

104. Q. Admiral, please outline the operations of the Search and Attack Group under your command, after the attack was initiated by the Japanese.

A. In accordance with my data, which I think is correct, planes of various types, including patrol planes, utility planes, VOVS planes, and Army planes-were dispatched covering sectors primarily from the North through Southwest. Three B-17'-s were requested to make the flight covering a sector through 165 True to 095. This was at the instance of the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, who, from certain information, felt that the Japanese carrier force was in that area.

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Eight utility, eleven patrol planes, and six VOVS planes, and nine SBD planes were the Navy planes participating. The total Army planes participating were five B-17's, three B-18's, and six A-20's.

105. Q. What else, upon what information was the choice of sectors to be searched based?

A. Wind direction, the general relative strategic locations, and the general information as developed from the departing Japanese planes.

106. Q. Do you know what information the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, had as a basis of the search to the southeasterly?

A. A radio bearing. I presume.

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107. Q. Admiral, please give us, along broad lines, such information or even impressions as you had, say, November, 1941, as regards the ability of the Army Interceptor Command to carry out its commitments toward protecting Pearl Harbor from an air raid.

A. My impression might be expressed by saying that the Army was not ready to perform their part in the protection of Pearl Harbor, and I might say that the need for training of their personnel was one of the reasons brought up for their reluctance to have air raid drills prior to December the 7th. I would say that they were not ready, from the point of view of their radar installations, their ability to control their fighter groups, in the number of planes they had, and in the quality of the general run of their pilots.

108. Q. Did you ever advise either Admiral Kimmel or Admiral Bloch to that effect?

A. Not in so many words, but there were conversations in regard to what the Army was able to do and in regard to the number of planes, and it was also known that the Air Control Center of the Army Interceptor Command was in process of being organized.

109. Q. During your association with the Army, did you ever detect any prevalent belief that they expected the Navy's forces at sea to intercept a carrier raid?

A. No, but in discussing various plans with the Commanding General, Air Force, Hawaiian Area, he apparently expected the Navy to have early information of the movement of enemy forces, so that a raid might be anticipated more definitely.

110. Q Have you any idea upon what they based that impression?

A. He assumed that the intelligence service would give that information and he seemed surprised when I told him that we should not expect such information.

Ship's Clerk Charles O. Lee, U. S. Naval Reserve, took seat as reporter and was warned that the oath previously taken was still binding.

111. Q. Did you know, prior to 7 December, of Admiral Yamamoto's previous experience with the Navy Air?

A. Yes, I think so.

112. Q. Were you ever told anything about his personal characteristics?

A. I have read-I'm not sure whether it was prior to December 7, or not, about his characteristics.

113. Q. You have testified concerning the inadequacy of our planes suitable for reconnaissance to extend the full 360 degrees search to the distance deemed requisite. Did it ever occur to you to have ready modified plan, confining the search to the most probable areas, so that

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you would more or less build your suit in accord with the amount of cloth that was available?

A. Yes, and that was actually proved in practice in what we subsequently did with the planes we had available in the daily search that started on December 7.

114. Q. Did you ever get so far along that line as to have what might be termed an "As-Is" plan for air reconnaissance, based upon what was actually available?

A. Subsequent to December 7, there was a daily search conducted. There were so many planes available-

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116. Q. Not before December 7?

A. We had search plans made to cover various distances and various sectors and depending upon the number of planes available for search the sector to be placed in that part of the compass rose where the most logical location of enemy forces were assumed to be.

116. Q. In your previous testimony, I believe you stated that under the full 360 degree reconnaissance you expected about a fifty per cent chance of sighting an enemy within the waters covered; is that correct?

A. Correct.

117. Q. So that even if you had, prior to December 7, been supplied with planes and had actually carried on such a search, that fifty per cent measures about what you thought at the time of the chances. In light of subsequent experience, what did you think of the correctness of that figure, fifty per cent?

A. I think the fifty per cent would be raised considerably because of the development of radar.

118. Q. Without radar?

A. The fifty per cent was based on twenty-five mile visibility and the various conditions of visibility in the Pacific are quite changeable. Perhaps fifty per cent may be underestimating, but in judging from reports of per cent of coverage of the sectors, assigned individual planes, on search flights subsequent to December 7, considerable areas were poorly covered on account of the weather condition.

119. Q. In view of that degree of probability of detection in a carrier raid, what other instrumentality, which would have been available on December 7, '41, would have given a greater measure of security?

A. You mean in addition to aircraft?

120. Q. No, in lieu of.

A. Considering what was available, I know of nothing more that would give more practical assurance of timely information.

121. Q. What about radar?

A. If radar had been available, then, as it is today, of course the search by planes would have been very much more effective.

122. Q. Was search radar not developed to a high degree of efficiency at that time?

A. No.

123. Q. Were our ships not equipped with search radar that was reasonably efficient at that time?

A. Some were equipped, but all of them were not equipped. Some few ships were equipped.

124. Q. How about those that had the equipment, were they not efficient?

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A. They were not as effective as they are today. However, it was a great advantage to have radar and every effort was being made, I know, to get them on ships, particularly aircraft carriers.

Q. Radar on shore was under Army cognizance, was it not?

A. Yes, sir.

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126. Q. As far as you know, was the quality of the material available to the Army inefficient?

A. I would say that it was not completely effective; even sometime after Pearl Harbor, many planes arrived without being detected.

127. Q. Admiral, am I correct in saying that you had two commands during the weeks prior to December 7, one Commander of Patrol Wing Two, directly under Aircraft Scouting Force, who, in turn, came directly under the Commander-in-Chief; and, two, Naval Base Defense Air Officer, directly under the Naval Base Defense Officer, who was Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District, who, in turn, came under the Commander-in-Chief?

A. Yes, sir.

128. Q. All of the distance reconnaissances contemplated in your estimate of the situation, dated 31 March, contemplated by JCD-42 and the addendum thereto, would all be carried out in your capacity as Naval Base Defense Air Officer, would they not?

A. Yes.

130. Q. That being the case, would you give us your reasons why, earlier in the day, you said that you looked to the Commander-in-Chief and not to the Naval Base Defense Officer, Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District, for directives as to whether a long-distance reconnaissance was necessary because of developments?

A. Normally speaking, the reason for long-distance reconnaissance would be known to the Commander-in-Chief prior to its being known to the Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District, and, in view of the fact that the deployment of planes, as units of the Fleet, under the Commander-in Chief, must be known to him in order that he would know what he had available to use at any time when he wanted to use them. So that, acting for the Commander-in-Chief, the Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District might start action, but presumably I would get the word from the Commander-in-Chief, perhaps at the same time that he got it. Although, in an emergency, the set-up of the organization did give the Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District, as Commander, Naval Base Defense Force, the authority to start action.

130. Q. Did the Commander-in-Chief and his Staff fully realize that you looked directly to them for instructions on distant reconnaissance rather than to the immediate superior under the plans, the Naval Base Defense Force Commander?

A. Actually, I looked to the Commander, Naval Base Defense Force, and when I arranged or when a drill was arranged, it was arranged either by my initiating it to him or by his initiating it, but in view of relationship with the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, I felt he should know how his planes were being employed and he always knew when a drill or operation of that kind was in progress.

The examining officer did not desire to further examine this witness.

The examining officer informed the witness that he was privileged to make any further statement covering anything relating to the subject matter of the examination which he thought should be a matter of

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record in connection therewith, which had not been fully brought out by the previous questioning.

[134]

The witness made the following statement: Prior to him assuming command of the Pacific Fleet, I called upon Admiral Kimmel to offer my congratulations. During my visit he expressed his interest in the aviation situation in the Hawaiian area and indicated that when he assumed charge of the Pacific Fleet he would take steps to bring about a coordinated Army-Navy plan for air defense. Shortly after Admiral Kimmel assumed command of the Pacific Fleet he sent for me and told me to report to the Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District for the purpose of working out an Air Defense Plan in conjunction with the General in command of the Army Air Forces Hawaiian Area. I proceeded on the duty assigned working closely with the Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District. The Army Air Forces did not take the initiative in the preparation of the Air Defense Plan but followed along with the Navy, although it is stated in an official report of an Army-Navy Board concerning aircraft operating areas in the Hawaiian area, dated 31 October, 1941, signed by Major General Commanding Army Air Forces, Hawaiian Islands, and myself, "The mission of the Army in Oahu is to defend the Pearl Harbor Naval Base against all attacks by an enemy. The contribution to be made by the Hawaiian Air Force in carrying out this mission is (1) To search for and destroy enemy surface craft within radius of action by bombardment aviation. (2) To detect, intercept, and destroy enemy aircraft in the vicinity of Oahu by pursuit aviation." The joint estimate of the situation was practically in toto prepared by Patrol Wing Two and from this emanated the orders prepared by Patrol Wing Two and by the Army Air Forces. As a result, there were evolved plans and a skeletonized organization which were to be placed into effect either by higher authority or by an emergency. The basis of coordination was to be by mutual cooperation. Although it was realized that facilities, personnel, and equipment were inadequate for proper and continuous air defense, the main idea was to evolve a plan and organization that would make the most of the tools that were available and conditions that were existing. It is foolish to think that such a skeletonized organization functioning on the basis of cooperation by the Navy and Army Air Forces and set up to be put in motion by special orders or by an emergency occurring, remaining practically non-existent except during periodic drills, could go into action and function effectively at the occurrence of an actual emergency. An organization of this nature to be effective must function twenty-four hours every day, and prior to an air raid not subsequent thereto. However, considering shortages, and deficiencies, other necessary employment of forces, such as expansion training and development of facilities, and lacking unity of command, little if any more in the way of readiness could be expected. It is believed that Admiral Kimmel saw this picture very realistically and I know of no man who, under the circumstances, could have done more. I know this, that the existing deficiencies, the varied duties and schedules of employment, the lack of authority due to lack of unity of command, placed the commander Naval Base Defense Air Force in a very embarrassing position.

The witness was duly warned and withdrew.

The examining officer then, at 4:35 p. m., adjourned until 10 a. m. tomorrow.


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